October 7, 2020
Partner Program Spotlight: Children's Advocacy Center
The following account is from Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center's Children's Advocacy Center, a United Way partner. Your contributions to UWKV made this story possible.
"Our world came crashing down when our ten-year-old daughter revealed to us that her older cousin had sexually assaulted her. We continue to be unbelievably thankful that she made the courageous decision to tell us. As you can imagine, it was a conversation that no parent wishes to ever have with his or her child. We knew immediately that we needed help and first turned to a counselor-friend who encouraged us to contact the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center.
Acting upon that wonderful piece of advice was the best decision that we could have made. The territory we have been forced to traverse is complicated, heart-wrenching, difficult and often confusing. It’s hard to find the words to accurately describe how much our family has benefitted from the work of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).
In the early days of this ordeal it was helpful to have the opportunity to talk with professionals who were able to provide us with information and resources while simultaneously displaying a true sense of compassion. When we learned that our daughter would need to be interviewed by the Maine State Police, we were apprehensive and concerned about how such an interview would impact her healing process and worried about long-term implications. Pre-interview questions with the amazing professionals of the CAC helped to relieve some of our worries about the process.
While we hope to never have our daughter (or anyone else’s child) have to go through the interview process again, we want to unequivocally state that the only reason we were able to ask our daughter to share her story with law enforcement is because we felt she was in the best possible professional hands. Every single person involved with her interview session helped to turn a difficult situation into a moment of empowerment for our daughter. We could not have asked for more.
While we wish she never had to go through this experience, we continue to be thankful that she was surrounded by the most capable of professionals. There is not a single thing that has been easy as we have marched along this emotional path. At this stage of our ordeal we are facing the possibility of our daughter having to testify in a courtroom setting.
Another call to the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center proved to be, yet again, most helpful. Conversing with an advocate and learning about available resources has helped tremendously. There mere fact that our daughter’s initial interview experience through the CAC was a positive as possible, under the circumstances, has made the prospect of her having to share her story as a much more manageable task. Simply put, the CAC has helped our family move from being victims of sexual assault to survivors or sexual assault—a significant distinction.
Our daughter became a survivor when she added her handprint to the Hands of Courage Wall and had her voice heard in a non-threatening and victim-centered environment. As we continue on our path to healing, we will forever remain indebted to the CAC."
Categories: News | Tags: | Posted by: Mboyer
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